Getting my life together

I have to say, it feels pretty good to have such an awesome response to such a personal post, so I want to thank you readers for your kinds words on my Part 1 post, Where My Life Went Wrong. It really gives me the confidence to open up more on this blog, and share part of my life with you all. In Part 1, I talked about how my life fell apart last year when I took the wrong job offer, and had to start my life over in Houston – a strange city to me, with no one to call a friend. In this post, I’ll share with you how I got my life back together with the help of my friends and family, and how I started to pursue my dreams.

Around the end of November is when I really hit the lowest point in my depression. I had a huge fight with a friend that I’d made in Texas. We spent a lot of time together in the short time that we knew each other. And, I think that because I didn’t have many friends in Texas who I’d consider myself to be “close” to, I kind of latched on to this person more strongly than in any normal circumstances. So when that friendship ended, I felt lonelier than ever. I went to Vegas for my birthday – we had planned to go together, but since we’d ended our friendship, I went with an old friend from California. And then I sort of couch-surfed for the next couple weeks. From Vegas, I went back with that friend to California and spent some time there, and then I flew up to San Francisco and stayed with Anisha for a while. That’s when I really started to heal. I was with old friends who knew for me who I really was – not this girl who got drunk every night and didn’t make a living. They had higher expectations of me, and it was kind of a wake up call. While I still really enjoy hanging out with my friends in Texas every once in a while, I felt like they didn’t  know the real me. In my eyes, they saw me as this party-girl from Boston who had no ambitions. And for a while, I was absolutely content to play that part. Being around my real friends brought me back to that time where I was known as the go-getter, who actually didn’t drink alcohol at all, and was totally career-focused.

I was extremely angry with myself for how much I let things slip, and though I wanted to change, I wasn’t sure if I could or if it was too late to go back.  I have never said this to her, but Anisha had a major part to play in my “recovery.” She has a lot of confidence in me, which is something that I was hugely lacking at that point. It just helped to have someone tell you that it’s okay to take a break from life, and that you can get back on that horse whenever you decide to. Well, I finally did make that decision, and fortunately, an old client of mine gave me that opportunity. As a busy agency in Boston, they had a lot of extra projects they needed to outsource to someone, and that someone turned out to be me. They gave me a call, and were pleasantly surprised when I told them that I had 100% availability. Pretty soon after that phone call, I was back to working my usual 65 hours a week. I tried to get a full-time position with them but the timing was bad for them, and I’m glad that it was! Because i wasn’t totally committed to them, I was able to take other clients, and they seemed to just be rolling in. Over the next couple months, I was so busy, I couldn’t even keep up with all my deadlines.

Another major contributor to my healing process was my family. For better or for worse, they drive me completely crazy. I could never really get much work done from home, because they kept asking me to help them with things around the house. My parents will never really understand that though I’m at home, I can’t be disturbed during regular business hours. I couldn’t even take phone calls during the day because my mom would scream my name through the house trying to get me to come downstairs and help her with something. It wasn’t very professional. So that’s when I decided to lease a small office for myself not far from my house. I figured I would get all my work done there, and that way I couldn’t be distracted. My parents were totally against this at first because they saw it as a complete waste of money, but soon after i signed the lease papers, they did a complete 180. I don’t know if my mom realized that this was me trying to get back to my former glory or if she decided it was a waste of time to fight me on this, but she ended up giving me all her support. She even helped me pick out furniture! She asked me if I would be meeting clients at my office, and I honestly hadn’t really thought about it before then. That’s when an idea struck me. I talked to Anisha and Stela, who you know as my Ingenue Coquette partners, and we decided to start a new web design and development agency called Alchemy Innovations. I would open the first office in Houston. My dad got on board, and he spent all day with me setting up my office after my mom and I had bought all the furniture from IKEA. They even surprised me with a custom made sign! It’s my favorite part of the whole office.

Today, Alchemy Innovations has grown even bigger than I thought it would in just the couple months we’ve been open. I have hired two interns and a Social Media Marketing Associate, who you all know as Christine – she blogs on Ingenue Coquette now too! I was also able to hire my older sister part time as our new Accounts Manager and Project Manager. I was really glad to do this because she has been a huge pillar of support for me since I moved here. I truly feel that this is what I was meant to do. I can’t say I was ever really happy working for anyone else. It was always my dream to be able to work for myself. I am  in business with the two people I really trust and count as my own sisters. I feel like it has happened practically overnight, but I am a lot happier than I have been for a long long time. I am making a conscious effort to make positive changes in my life – I even joined a bikram yoga class, and while it has been REALLY hard to get used to, I’m glad to be doing it because it’s about me focusing on myself for a change – not work, not partying, and not the people around me. Part of being happy is being healthy, and even though I just started this new business and it is a lot of work… what I learned from last year was that it IS okay to take a break from work, and in fact, everyone should.

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  • Aprill Coleman

    June 28, 2013 at 5:58 am
    Reply

    WOW! What an inspiring story! I'm so glad things are better and you are getting your life on track!

  • Sheila Arkee

    June 28, 2013 at 6:26 am
    Reply

    Congratulations on your success - when one door closes, another truly opens. I totally understand how your parents are...lol.

  • Jenn Coyle

    June 28, 2013 at 9:35 am
    Reply

    Yay for a glorious part 2! I'm glad things turned around and brought you to where you are now. Much continued success to you!!

  • Judy Lynn Schmidt

    June 28, 2013 at 4:29 pm
    Reply

    This is wonderful, Christina! Congratulations on taking a breather, and coming back stronger than ever. Your office looks so nice, crisp and professional. I am […] Read MoreThis is wonderful, Christina! Congratulations on taking a breather, and coming back stronger than ever. Your office looks so nice, crisp and professional. I am rooting for you:) Read Less

  • Gigi Sommers DePascale

    June 29, 2013 at 1:50 am
    Reply

    This was a real pleasure to read. I think we all need to "find ourselves" (trite phrase, I realize) at some time, and the […] Read MoreThis was a real pleasure to read. I think we all need to "find ourselves" (trite phrase, I realize) at some time, and the help of family and friends is something to truly treasure. It's an inspiration, Christina! Once more, thank you for your candor. Read Less

  • Gigi Sommers DePascale

    June 29, 2013 at 1:50 am
    Reply

    Your office is gorgeous...

  • Anisha Le-Great Giri

    June 30, 2013 at 7:57 am
    Reply

    Lav you.

  • Carole Dennis Cornell

    July 1, 2013 at 11:21 pm
    Reply

    WoW, it is so great that you were able turn things around so completely and so quickly. Well, it probably didn't seem so quick […] Read MoreWoW, it is so great that you were able turn things around so completely and so quickly. Well, it probably didn't seem so quick to you at the time, but from the outside... damn impressive! I admire your candor in telling us about your year. I wish you all the best in the future! Read Less

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